By David Livingston
When asked to reflect on the one thing that had strengthened my faith this year, I initially thought that I might write about a specific tragedy or moment of grace that challenged or inspired me. No single event has strengthened my faith in 2012, but a series of events.
This year I have found a place and a time to read, write and meditate every morning. I wake around six while Joan and Luna sleep and I slip downstairs to our basement. I take an hour at my desk to write, read and reflect on both the joys and disappointments I have recently experienced.
Like a muscle, faith needs to be exercised. I am neither a great athlete nor a great musician, but I know many friends who fall into one of these categories and they speak of muscle memory. This phenomenon of the body knowing what to do before the conscious mind engages the task at hand comes from thousands and thousands of repetitions of the same act. Whether playing the scales or juggling a soccer ball, this repetition allows creative flow when one is “performing live.” When I sit down to my desk in the morning, I find I no longer need to try to get into a reflective space; my body and mind quiet as I sit down. On good days this sense of well-being and gratitude extends throughout the day and allows me to see the world with different eyes, the eyes of faith.
David Livingston is vice president for advancement and an associate professor of religious studies. He lives in Erie with his wife Joan; their children, Matt and Sara, attend universities outside Erie.